1. This is a photograph of the Torre de David, the real building in Caracas, Venezuela where the fictional Nicholas Brody of Homeland is now living (against his will).
In Sunday’s episode, called “Tower of David,” a bleeding Brody (Damian Lewis), whom viewers have not seen since the Season 2 finale, is brought to the building by allies of Carrie’s. Brody is then tended to by a creepy character named Dr. Graham, played by Erik Todd Dellums. Later in the episode, Dr. Graham tells Brody about the history of the building. “They call it the Tower of David,” he says. “Not for King David, heaven forbid. For David Brillembourg, the particularly egomaniacal banker who commissioned it. Unfortunately, before it was completed, David died — and then the whole economy died. Construction stopped. The squatters all moved in. And voila.” All of that is factually correct.
2. Construction began on the building, which was to be called the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, in 1990.
3. It was going to be a luxury apartment building with a swimming pool and a helipad on the roof.
4. Then Brillembourg died of cancer in 1993 at age 56.
5. The following year, the Venezuelan banking crisis began.
6. Construction stopped, leaving the building empty and unfinished.
8. In 2007, according to The New York Times, a former gang member turned pastor named Alexander Daza “led the occupation of the Tower of David.”
9. He and his followers were driven to squat there because of Caracas’ housing shortage.
10. The Torre de David’s population is hard to count, but the Washington Post estimated in August that more than 2,500 people live there.
11. In a recent documentary short, Ramón Iriarte of the news site Vocativ explored the building.
12. He found that residents occupy the first 28 floors. There are no elevators, but motorcycles can shuttle people up 10 flights through a parking garage.
13. And they’ve created their own electric grid, as well as ways to get running water throughout the building.
14. A 2012 story in Foreign Policy portrayed Torre de David as dangerous, riddled with drugs and prostitution.
15. The Vocativ mini-doc makes a different case; judge for yourself.
16. Homeland’s “Tower of David” episode was actually filmed in Puerto Rico. An abandoned apartment building in San Juan stood in for the Torre de David’s interiors.
17. The Torre de David details seemed pretty perfect, though — like here, when Brody’s de facto nurse, Esme (Martina Garcia) buys water for him at a bodega in the building.
The episode was co-written by the late Henry Bromell, who died in March.